Be the person your dog thinks you are.
The sentiment expressed here is more real than it leads on. The way we see ourselves reflected in the eyes of others speaks volumes about our relationship.
It starts with the relationship we hold with ourselves. This relationship is judged harshly. Every minor imperfection is cataloged, in detail, as we study the reflection staring back at us in the mirror.
The harsh relationship we hold with ourselves makes us even more vulnerable to the intoxicating gaze of admiration we find in the eyes of our romantic interests. In their eyes we see a different image of ourselves being reflected back: a better version of ourselves.
The consequences of this effect are not to be underestimated. We may catch ourselves feeling an entirely different way about a person once they confess they are into us. The improved reflection of ourselves we find in their stare seemingly sparks attraction that didn't exist before.
In their presence, we feel as though we're a better person, living up to the less flawed image of us they believe to be the 'real' us.
We savor the disconnect between the version of us we see, where flaws are highlighted, and the version of us they see, where flaws are ignored, if not invisible. The truth, as always, is likely somewhere in the middle. But the truth doesn't feel this good. Attraction is a powerful thing.